Roadside Rescue: Veteran-Owned Apparel Company’s Co-Founder Saves Bald Eagle

Gavin Fish

Gavin Fish

Published February 16, 2024 10:50 am
Last Updated: March 28, 2024 4:42 pm
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STATE COLLEGE, Pa. (EYT) – A business trip like any other took an à propos turn when the co-founder of a veteran-owned apparel company had the opportunity to save the life of an injured bald eagle.

(Photo above: Gregory Cox holds the injured bald eagle as he awaits assistance from state troopers. All photos by Gregory Cox / 12 Series Brand.)

It was a day like any other for Gregory Cox, Director of Marketing and co-founder of 12 Series Brand. He was returning from a business trip in Philadelphia, driving back toward State College when his journey took an unexpected turn.

While navigating along Route 322, something caught Cox’s attention.

“I saw this big, dark bird on a bridge. Its wing was all wanky. It didn’t look normal,” Cox told exploreClarion.com. “When I got closer, I saw its white head.”

Cox realized he was looking at a distressed bald eagle, the symbol of the American freedom he protected while serving in the military.

Overwhelmed with concern but unsure of what to do, Cox pulled off to the side of the road. Realizing the urgency of the situation, he first phoned his girlfriend, sharing a quick, panicked conversation about the unexpected encounter. He then decided to dial 9-1-1, seeking professional advice on how to handle the situation.

As he was on the phone, Cox cautiously approached the injured bird.

“I got about five feet from the eagle. When it saw me, it moved over into the driving lane,” Cox said.

The eagle’s movement posed a potential risk to both itself and the incoming traffic. Displaying quick thinking and courage, Cox waved down the oncoming vehicles, alerting them of the unusual obstruction.

Once the traffic had slowed down, Cox managed to scoop the eagle up using his hoodie.

“I just held it until the cops arrived,” he said, cradling the majestic bird with a level of care that comes from a deep respect for the creature.

This experience made him one of the very few individuals who have had the privilege of holding a wild bald eagle.

When two state trooper vehicles arrived at the scene, the officers were taken aback by the sight that awaited them. They asked Cox routine questions about the eagle’s initial location and its condition. Following their brief interaction, the troopers took over, placing the eagle in a grassy area away from the road’s dangers.

The bird was then taken back to the state police barracks, where it was later picked up by the Pennsylvania Game Commission.

While it is customary for wounded animals to be put down, this policy does not apply to the bald eagle, a protected national bird.

Reflecting on the day’s unexpected events, Cox later stated, “I’m just a soldier rescuing the great American bird.”

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